Building two LNG terminals in Latvia is a possibility, says Economics Minister

While two rival projects for the construction of a new LNG terminal in Latvia currently jostle for approval, it could be the case that both get built, Economy Minister Ilze Indriksone (National Alliance) said in an interview with Latvian Radio July 25.

As previously reported, a Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in Latvia could be developed by either JSC "Skulte LNG Terminal" or SIA "Kundziņsalas dienvidu projekts", via projects located Saulkrasti district and in Rīga respectively. For months, bidders have been touting the benefits of their projects in order to win an official go-ahead.

Now Indriksone says that possibilities are currently being evaluated and it is not inconceivable that "both projects could actually be implemented".

The minister explained: "We are continuing work on our national terminal, the work is currently being evaluated at the expert level for all risks – strategically important issues, in order to evaluate which of the proposed terminals could be the most advantageous both economically and in terms of the implementation schedule and, of course, also in terms of safety questions, which are evaluated for projects."

"At the moment, the evaluation is taking place only in order to determine which of the terminals [to build], or maybe even, possibly, by evaluating these applications, both could actually be implemented.

She pointed out that the developers of both projects are invited not to delay the implementation of the projects, if it is realistically possible, even without gaining official backing. 

"Every step and action that developers and investors continue to take now will speed up the implementation of the terminal project. Currently, no one has forbidden any of the project developers to continue the implementation of the started projects. In one case, it is an assessment of the impact on the environment, in another - perhaps the development of a technical project, in another - perhaps already some construction activities. Everything can be done," said the Minister of Economy. 

In order to ensure future natural gas supplies, the government has previously instructed the Ministry of Economy to negotiate with Estonia regarding the use of the future Paldiski liquefied natural gas terminal, but in the longer term Latvia plans to create its own terminal. Lithuania is currently the only one of the Baltic states with its own LNG terminal.

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